AST 2 Winter 2017/18

The AST 1 course is part of the ACC's annual Powder Program which is sponsored by our partner Smartwool. Smartwool's support allows us to keep costs of our Powder Program camps and courses low as well as provide Smartwool product to all of the program's participants. We thank them for their support.

Head further into the backcountry with Canada’s intermediate-level recreational Avalanche Safety Training 2

Combining classroom and field sessions, participants should expect to be fully involved in the day to day decision making on this course, with the support and feedback of your guides. Our curriculum is based on nationally standardized material from the Avalanche Canada.

We take it a step further and specifically focus on delivering a program to our students that is relevant to the current trends in free-skiing, split-boarding and technical alpine and ice climbing in avalanche terrain.

Field Days will have a heavy focus on getting students into the lead and making decisions on the move. Your guides will introduce a variety of new snow stability tests, as well as a more advanced set of snowpack analysis skills and their application, not previously introduced on the AST 1 course.

All our students receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course.The AST 1 is a prerequisite certification course you are expected to have before attending AST 2.

The AST 1 is a certification course. All our students receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course.

As this course is offered out of the ACC Clubhouse in Canmore, we welcome all participants to stay with us and enjoy the remote atmosphere that surrounds us. Located on a high bench overlooking the Three Sisters, Ha Ling and Mount Rundle, you can call and reserve your room today at 1(403)678-3200.

Level of Difficulty: Intermediate

To receive the AST 2 Certificate, participants must first take the AST 1 Program. This program is open to all ACC members who are at least an intermediate or type II skier and have an interest in learning about avalanche phenomena in more challenging and complex mountain terrain. Participants can expect longer and more physical days than on the AST 1 Course.

Camp Itinerary

Day 1 – Classroom Day.
Participants meet at 8:30am in the Heritage Room at the ACC’s Canmore Clubhouse

  • Review of the basic principles of avalanche phenomena
  • Terrain photo study – How to recognize avalanche terrain & choosing routes
  • Accessing public avalanche forecast – Where to find them and their strengths and limitations
  • Snowpack metamorphism – what actually drives change in the snowpack
  • Snowpack layering, crystal shapes, temperature gradients
  • Emergency response review
  • Trip planning considerations
  • Identifying hazards
  • Route plans
  • Emergency contacts
  • Timings & turnaround times
  • Introduce the principles of companion rescue with multiple burials
  • Review of our “Guide’s Pack” & discussion about appropriate gear selection for avalanche terrain
  • Discussion and route planning for the objective for Day 2.

Camp Itinerary

Days 2-4 Field Days.
Meeting time and objectives TBD

  • Review of Transceiver Checks – Range and Transmit Function Checks
  • How to use Avalanche & Weather Forecasts in your decision making
  • Use of the AVALUATOR as a travel tool
  • Hazard Identification and Mitigation
  • Identifying Areas of Increased Hazard
  • Good Travel Habits
  • Group Management & Decision Making
  • Snowpack Observations & Snow Stability Analysis
  • Review the Procedure for a Compression Test
  • Introduce new snow stability tests and discuss when to use them
  • Extended Column Tests
  • Propagation Saw Tests
  • Deep Tap Tests
  • Companion Rescue – Dealing with multiple burial situations


  • January 3-6, 2018
  • January 19-22, 2018
  • February 9-12, 2018
  • March 9-12, 2018

  • $476 (before November 15, 2017) + Tax / Person
  • $595 (after November 15, 2017) + Tax / Person
Register Now

Gear, Food & Lodging

  • ACMG professional guiding throughout the camp
  • CAC Sanctioned course materials
  • Completion certification at the end of the course
  • Transportation to and from the field locations – participants will be expected to use their own vehicles and carpool
  • Accommodation is not included. Accommodation is available at the ACC’s Canmore Clubhouse ($30/night).
  • All meals for the course
  • National Parks vehicle pass
  • Personal gear (please bring your own avalanche beacon, probe, shovel, snowshoes, ski touring or splitboard set up, packed lunch, warm clothes and notebook and pencil)

Photo by Brad Hurkett
All work and no play

Photo by Mike Dodge
Terrain trap?

AST 2 Staff